Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has been urged to sign the Child
Rights Bill recently passed by the state House of Assembly into law.
Mr Egbosa Erhiumwunse, of SOS Children’s Village Nigeria, made the
demand weekend at the closing of the training camp and project launch
of the Aflatoun Child Rights Cooperative Project in Enugu.

He said, “We call on Governor Ugwuanyi to give express accent to this
bill and commence mechanisms necessary for the implementation of the
law. It will ensure that several issues hindering the protection of
rights of children, such as children living on streets, children
affected by communal conflicts, drug abuse, human trafficking and the
weakness of the juvenile justice system will be addressed.”

The Aflatoun Child Rights Cooperative project is funded by the
European Union, and implemented by Linking the Youth of Nigeria
through Exchange, and SOS Children’s Village Nigeria with additional
support from Aflatoun International, SOS Children’s Village Nigeria
and the UBA Foundation.

The chairman, House Committee on Gender Affairs, represented by Mrs
Nwafor Perpetual, said, “The passage will ensure an end to child
abuses in the state. It is then left for the society to be the
watchdog, and report abuses to enforcement authorities.”
The partnership and outreach officer of Lynx Nigeria, Ayokunnu
Babarinde, regretted that elders who ought to protect children rather
abuse them. “Children should defend their rights to become tomorrow’s
leaders. They will be sensitized on how to demand their rights
non-violently,” he said.

A representative of the National Orientation Agency, Mrs Adaobi Nwoye,
thanked the House for the passage, and assured that NOA would drive
the message to the grassroots.
Mr Chukwu Nwabueze, from the National Human Rights Commission, urged
the public to report abuses to the agency for proper action. He said
the NHC had been in the forefront of prosecuting human rights abuses.
He said if the bill is signed into law, the commission would ensure
proper prosecution of offenders.
Twenty-four states have signed the Act into law.

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